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Performance Consulting Matters: 5 Essential Steps to Better Training Results

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Sometimes when things aren’t working, identifying the right problem can be just as important as prescribing a solution. When ongoing issues arise at work, additional training is often the solution requested. But training costs time and money—and until you truly identify the problem, how can you know if throwing more training at it will make a difference?

You can’t.

Yet over time, too many businesses get into a habit of addressing every issue with the same prescribed solutions. Often, these “habits” can turn into departmental silos, where protecting territories, budgets and “the way we do things” becomes more important than actually finding the best solution for the problem at hand. That’s where performance consulting can help.

What is performance consulting?

Performance consultants have one agenda: closing the performance gaps that are keeping a company from achieving its objectives. By first analyzing the causes—whether skills, attitudes or behaviors—behind declining performance, consultants are more able to recommend the best solution to address it. That may or may not involve additional training. If it does, then performance consultants can aide in the instructional design phase to ensure your training will actually impact outcomes.

So how does it all work?

Here are five crucial steps performance consultants take to ensure you get better training and performance results every time:

  1. Articulate clear objectives. Performance consultants meet with all stakeholders to clearly define specific, attainable and measurable goals that need to be achieved.
  2. Conduct a needs analysis. By interviewing, surveying and observing select employees, the performance consultant can analyze and identify performance problems more accurately.
  3. Recommend effective solutions. Good performance consultants never assume more training is the only solution to every problem. Rather, they collect data to discover the best solution for the performance gap at hand. If training is warranted, this data can inform the instructional design phase to ensure the new training will achieve the predefined outcomes.
  4. Measure learning and performance. Training modules should include surveys, assessments and feedback opportunities to monitor learning. In addition, on-the-job performance data—e.g., sales figures, internal job reviews, customer feedback, etc.—will give you a good idea whether the prescribed solutions are having the desired effect.
  5. Revisit and revise solutions. After a predetermined period, your performance consultant will review the learning and performance data to see what areas still need improvement—and revise the approach to accommodate.

Performance consulting holds so many benefits, from protecting your budget by eliminating ineffective or unnecessary training to boosting performance outcomes and your bottom line. Even so, performance consulting is an essential step often skipped in training development. Unfortunately, doing so can often prove costly. If you’d like to ensure you have what it takes to optimize the performance of your team, find a Performance Consulting Workshop near you today.